Sunday, March 28, 2010

There is no Arizona

It has only taken a week for Jeremy to show me the pictures he took while he was in Arizona last week. On his birthday, he received a trip to visit his brother Cary and his family that live in Tucson. For five days he took off to do a few rounds of this:
This is what happens if you are a cactus growing on a golf course:
As much as Jeremy enjoyed all of the golfing and the baseball game they went to, he really loved just being with Cary, Sarah, and their two boys, Byron and Jared. Jeremy had yet to meet Cary's kids and apparently Byron really took to Jeremy, how sweet. I hope it isn't too long before we all get to meet them.
Cary, thanks for taking off some work to play with my husband. Sarah, thank you for sacrificing Cary and for caring for Jeremy during his stay. Byron and Jared, thanks for keeping Uncle Jeremy company and reminding him of his kids at home. We really appreciate you all!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting some action!

I am not very technologically savvy. Today I had to enter my email address onto someones phone and it was embarrassing how long it took me to figure out how to push the little tiny buttons on the screen and then switch from letters to numbers. I try to keep up, because I want to be able to know the same things my kids know how to do, especially as they get older. The missionaries came to dinner a while back and they were stunned to find out we were on Facebook. We must look ancient to a couple of 19 year old kids... Anyways, I have been trying for years to figure out how to download some actions onto Photoshop to use with my pictures, and I always ended up frustrated and gave up. Well, I tried again tonight and it worked! I am so excited to try these out on my pictures. Yesterday my boys and I went to Old Towne Manassas to play at the train station and I snapped a few pictures. It may be action overload, but you'll have to just play along with my enthusiasm. Most of Photoshop is still in another language to me, but I am slowly chipping away at it. Yay!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I-rish I were Irish

Last year St. Patrick's Day became a big deal for us. Something about a 6 year old boy hearing on the bus that leprechauns weren't real and coming home telling his mom that he knew they were real and would come visit our house that night leaving behind candy and gold... I had forgotten all about last year until Cameron reminded me the morning of the 16th that we had to get our leprechaun trap ready. Since I tend to be a "go big or go home" kind of gal, I had to jump right in and prepare for that night and set about running around town for various items I would need later. Cameron came up with his trap idea on his own and sure enough, by morning there were little white leprechaun footprints all over the carpet upstairs and green leprechaun pee in all the toilets. There was gold confetti and gold wrapped peanut butter cups and even four gold Sacajawea dollar coins (very hard to find!). Alas, the leprechaun out-smarted us again and was not in our trap come morning, but at least he left us some goodies.

The boys wore green and Cameron took in lucky pennies to his classmates. All day Gavin refused to eat anything that wasn't green because the previous day at preschool their snack was all green- apples, grapes and even green juice. So I tinted everything for lunch a kelly greenish color for my little Irish boy and we compromised for dinner. We had a non-green but Irish dinner of corned beef and swiss panini's with lime sherbet floats and a green dessert pizza with kiwi's, green apples and grapes. Jeremy loved it so much he said we should make it a tradition. St. Patricks' Day is surely becoming a much bigger deal than I ever thought it would be considering we are far from Irish, but little things like this make the kids so happy and excited, it's hard not to get caught up in it yourself a little. Erin Go Bragh!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mason the Great Crib Climber!

Somewhere around two and a half, both Cameron and Gavin moved into a big boy bed. I always dreaded that because it meant being up in the middle of the night again with a roaming child, but back then I had to do it because of another impending arrival due that needed the precious crib space. With Mason I knew things would be different. He could stay in that crib till he was 5 for all I cared! It would keep him safe and contained until I was ready to take things to the next step. Well, Mason had a plan of his own which involved hauling his jolly belly up and over the side of his wooden fortress and enjoying his freedom whenever he pleased. He crawled out once a couple of months ago, but it seemed like a one time deal and Jeremy and I breathed a deep sigh of relief, however, the joy was short lived when Friday night I put him to bed and soon heard the door opening to his room. I put him back in that bed 10 times that night, and finally he relented. The next day he crawled out of his pack and play at a friends house during his nap and that night he woke up at 4 am, inviting himself into our room. The next day was the same, he came out during his nap and last night he was up three times in the wee hours, finally Jeremy gave in and moved his pillow onto the floor of Mason's room. Neither of us got much sleep and it was like having a newborn all over again. I would lay in bed a tense ball just waiting to hear the not so welcome pitter-patter of little feet. I relish my sleep and so I knew this meant war. While in my state of non sleep this morning I schemed a wonderful scheme. The pack and play didn't make a difference, he could climb out of that too, but I remembered that our pack and play came with a forgotten and once used tent-like canopy that could cover the top and keep out the sun. Surely, this would keep Mason from escaping. After searching high and low I found the tent and assembled the cage ready for the afternoon nap. It did not last but two minutes... Genius as the tent idea was for the sun, it wasn't very useful at keeping a nearly two year old in. No worries, I had more up my sleeve. After our nap time battle today, I came up with a new tactic to try. Our crib has three levels you can adjust the mattress to. We have only ever used the bottom one, but I wondered what would happen if I took this board out altogether? The mattress was just high enough that there was no gap at the bottom and it didn't slide around at all! I am calling this a success even though I have not tried it with said child yet. Tonight is the big test and please cross your fingers that all goes well. It doesn't look too pretty but if it serves its purpose I don't really care. He may have won the battle, but I shall win the war!

Monday, March 8, 2010

To Gavin

Dear Gavin,

I know the day is going to be difficult when I wake up to screaming coming from down the hall. It is impossible for me to understand how two brothers who can get along so well can fight so hard. The most minor offenses can cause you to go ballistic and it is usually very difficult to get you off of that path for the day. At least for me it is. As the days pass, I am realizing more and more how alike we are. We both like to control and that means one of us will lose and neither of us will go down without a fight. Somehow you aren't so bad with daddy. Maybe that's because he's used to losing the battles with me :) I am also slowly learning that positive reinforcement is the key to your success. I wish I would've keyed into that better when we had our potty training war. I've learned that Gavin is going to do things on Gavin's timeline and nobody can change that. Months ago I had it in my mind that you were going to learn to write your name, and I painstakingly repeated the G with you over and over until I asked you to do it yourself. All I got were circles and lines and a coy little grin on your face. I grew frustrated quickly and gave up. I left the room and returned a minute later to find 4 perfect G's on your paper. Your timeline, not mine. Today you wrote your name for the first time without help. Again, it was after I had retreated defeated and you did it on your own. I am going to have to learn how to compromise my will with yours so you can succeed without my hair all turning grey. The look on your face when you saw how proud I was! You laughed and grinned from ear to ear with confidence. You are my little stubborn mule and I'm learning, ever so slowly how to let you take the lead and give you the freedom to go in a direction I did not chose. I just know that this strong will of yours will be a huge benefit to you when you grow up, I just need to keep reminding myself of that when I'm trying to get you to conform to my way. Mule or not, you are part of our pack.